B.C. halts grizzly hunts

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2001:

VICTORIA, B.C.–British Columbia premier Ujjal Dosanjh on February 8 announced a three-year moratorium on hunting grizzly bears within the province, as sought by Environmental Investigation Agency campaigner Martin Powell in an open letter published in the January/February 2001 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE.┬áIn the interim, Dosanjh asked scientists to resolve conflicting estimates which put the B.C. grizzly population at anywhere from 4,000 to 13,000.

Members of the opposition Liberal Party pledged to lift the moratorium if they regain control of the B.C. legislature in a provincial election which must be held by June.

Resistance also came from the Nisgah Nation, a native band which claims an aboriginal right to hunt bears under a treaty which just took effect last year. Nisgah leaders hinted they they might set up a hunting guide service, to exploit their purported monopoly on opportunities to kill bears.

The Nisgah view contrasted with the repeated refusal of Nunavet minister of sustainable development Oyaluk Akesuk to issue a permit to hunt a polar bear with dogs and a speer to Noah Kadlak, 33. Kadlak has been seeking the permit since 1997, in anticipation of selling the video rights.

Akesuk, according to Canadian Press, “fears animal rights activits will do to Nunavet’s polar bear hunt what they did to Newfoundland sealing.”

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